Thursday, July 12, 2018

Three on Thursday

While driving down here yesterday for settlement today, I tried coming up with ideas for Three on Thursday. My ideas all seemed uninspired, just plain dumb, or I didn't have a photo to go with the post.

But when I read Carole's post this morning about three luxuries, it was so good that I had to steal her idea. I was enjoying three of my luxuries at the same time!

Reading (The Garrick Year)

In bed (a comfortable hotel bed I won't have to make)

With the ac cranked way down (it's set on 64)

It's delightful to linger with these three luxuries because they don't often happen when I'm at home. We don't close on the MD house until 3 pm this afternoon, so my morning is pretty open. It's also wonderful to be reminded that these are indeed luxuries and appreciate them more. Thanks, Carole!

Now I'm going to head downstairs for some more luxuries - tea and freshly-baked scones. You can head on over here to read more Three on Thursday posts. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Unraveled Wednesday

I'm joining Kat and friends for Unraveled Wednesday. I've only knit a few more sections since I last showed you my Match & Move, but today the big news is that I filled the "With a cover that matches a current WIP" square for my book bingo card.

I'm playing book bingo in a very loose way this summer, reading what I want, when I have time, and putting the book into a square if it happens to fit. This one does! 

Coyote America was worth three stars for me. I'm interested in coyotes because I've always thought of them as a western species, but over the last few years I've seen and heard them regularly here in New Jersey. I wished for more science and less anthropomorphism from this book, but that coyote certainly matches my WIP!

What are you making and reading this week?

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Oh, Anonymous ...

... you say the dumbest, silliest, strangest things!

Yesterday Google seemed upset that I had 25 comments awaiting moderation and felt compelled to yell at me about my grievous lack of moderation. I don't think I have ever checked the "Awaiting moderation" section of my blog's comments in five years, so I clicked over to see what was there. The comments were all from Anonymous and he/she had some interesting things to say.

Sure, Anonymous. More content, less text, more images, coming right up, just for you.

I don't know which family member this might be, but I'm glad I could include almost all important infos, especially after my content deficiency noted above.

Thank you! I always try to write fastidiously.

I've wondered the same thing, Anonymous. 

I'm glad I could help your sister analyze knitting, reading, and random bits and pieces from my mundane life.

Wow, this comment is pleasant! 

Oh, Anonymous, you do make me laugh (hysterically)!

These spam comments were funny to read, but they do seem to be increasing based on the dates they were written, so I might have to turn off anonymous comments at some point. I didn't even understand how anyone (or any bots) would gain anything from commenting, but it seems like what they get out of it is a sleazy way for the commenter to get free links back to their site. Little do they know I'm not yet a famous blogger and their spam won't get them too far!

Monday, July 9, 2018

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch

Last weekend we were invited to the deer ranch where Justin works in central NY. We've heard all about the ranch owner, his assistant, Justin's coworker, and the interns, but it was really nice to meet them in person along with their families, and spend some time visiting. My pictures are less than ideal, but that's mainly because I was too busy having fun and forgot to take many photos.

 This looks like just a field, but when you get a little closer ...

... you can see it's a field of sunflowers, planted just for the deer. They've already devoured almost everything in the first forage field Justin planted, but since this one is a little closer to the house and a couple of dogs, they haven't nibbled much in this one yet.

I asked Justin to send me a photo when the whole field was in bloom, but he said it might not get to that stage. The deer love the foliage and stems, so flowers might get eaten before they even open.

We ate, we chatted, and we shot bows. They have a great, safe target set-up and it was wonderful to be able to shoot my bow at a nice big target from different distances, especially since I haven't shot since winter.

Almost everyone was using fancy compound bows, and I got a chance to try one, but still liked my plain old recurve bow best. That's it leaning against the tree on the left, next to Justin's new one (which may have cost more than my first car). :-)

It was a beautiful day with lots of good food, fun, and meeting some very nice people. It was a delightful way to spend the weekend; now it's time to get back to some house details. I hope your weekend was as oasis away from work and worry like mine was!

Friday, July 6, 2018

In Which I Take a (Sort Of) Break

That's a somewhat silly title because I haven't posted since Tuesday, so I've already taken a two-day break. Looking forward, it will probably be much of the same, so I thought I'd tell you why.

The biggest reason is that we did buy a house in Elkton, MD, and for some dumb reason, I have ridiculously underestimated the time this venture would take. The house is the one I posted previously, and the past few weeks have involved lots of negotiations. The inspections revealed termites with damage to joists, an inoperable hot water heater, old windows that don't even open, a kitchen with a faulty stove, dishwasher, and sink, and many, many other little things. We had looked for a move-in ready house, thought we had found one that was close, but the inspections showed otherwise. We asked for lots of money to fix everything, negotiations went back and forth, and we finally arrived at an amount that neither we nor the seller are thrilled with, but it's enough to fix all the big things. We seriously considered walking away, but that would have put us back at the beginning. There were two other houses that we were considering, but even the cheapest one was $80K more, and that's money we just don't have.

So we decided to go ahead, and settlement is next Thursday. We chose the "good enough" house; we know its issues and have begun scheduling the fixes. I have a new hot water heater being installed on Friday, Home Depot is coming on Saturday to rip up old carpet and measure for new carpet to be installed the following Thursday. I'm hoping that there is hardwood under the carpet in the living/dining room, and because the carpet was installed 16 years ago I'm hoping that if there is hardwood, it won't need much refinishing. On Sunday, John and I are going to try and replace the garbage disposal and sink, fix the burners that don't work on the stove, and repair the dishwasher. Termite treatment is happening on Monday. Joist repair is scheduled for Wednesday, and somewhere in that week, we're going to shop for furniture. I really hope to find a bit of spare time to get a library card at the Elkton Library and maybe even visit my new LYS, Vulcan's Rest, in Chesapeake City. (Big thanks to Vera for her recommendation!)

I've procured home owner's insurance, scheduled electric, water, and sewer to be turned on the day we close, but haven't yet contacted Comcast to set up internet. Given my previous interactions with Comcast here in NJ, I thought that process might work better when I was actually in MD.

So my time has been taken up with details and all the seemingly hundreds of things that need to be done before Thursday the 12th. I enjoy posting every day, and I especially enjoy hearing from all of you, but that hasn't been possible for a few days now. I'm not leaving, but all this house stuff plus the activities of daily life and family mean that I'll be posting randomly over the next few weeks. I'm going to be in MD from next Wed. the 11th through Fri. the 20th, then back to NJ to regroup. Here's hoping I can successfully negotiate with Comcast so I might even be able to post from MD!

I'm wishing everyone a wonderful, relaxed, and relaxing weekend. We've been invited to the ranch where Justin works this weekend to meet the man who owns the place, his assistant, the rest of the ranch staff, and their families so I may even have blog fodder for Monday!

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Too Hot, Too Dry

I haven't talked about our garden much lately, but I think the photos below might explain why.

The spinach has all bolted.

 Zucchini leaves are wilting.

The popcorn doesn't look completely awful, but when you look a bit closer, you can see that all the leaves are curled. That's the plant's attempt to try and limit water loss when temperatures are high. My grandfather used to say that he could predict the temperature based on how tightly the corn leaves were curled, but my farming experience isn't good enough to do that.

The cucumbers look pitiful,

and the poor tomatoes are just terrible.

There is one seemingly heat-resistant volunteer plant in the bean row, so I'm trying to take especially good care of it. 

Worst of all are the splayed out Napa cabbages. The heads are still usable, but I don't know how long that will be the case. 

We've been watering early in the morning and again late at night to reduce evaporation, but I took these photos at mid-day
 and they show how stressed most of the plants are after several days of our high heat, despite twice daily watering. 

There is one thing in the garden that isn't painful and sad to look at - the purple coneflowers. There are
 also some black-eyed susans among them, and I hope they fare well enough to bloom. 

To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow ~ Audrey Hepburn
(along with the possibility of lower temperatures and a drenching thunderstorm or two!)

Monday, July 2, 2018

Sometimes Monday ...

... is a day for being hopeful.

Here's hoping for the best for you today (and I'm also holding a few selfish hopes for myself )!